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Because Early Mornings and Worms Suck

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They don’t even realise that they’re studying at the same university until they’ve been there for a good three weeks and they bump into each other while vacating their dorms for the second time that night. Morning. Ugh.

The fire alarm wails angrily at them as they trudge outside to the fire assembly point. After the first alarm had gone off at 2:35am, this time Makoto had left his room prepared; he’s slipped into trainers instead of slippers, saving his feet from getting soggy on from the damp grass, and he’s cocooned himself into his blanket so he is still in a small pocket of warmth. He’s obviously not the only one thinking this way as other disgruntled students wander over, their various states of dress covered by fleeces and duvets alike.

Sousuke has apparently missed the memo.

Looking particularly grumpy in his boxer-shorts-and-hastily-thrown-on-thin-vest combo, he looks particularly worn, his hair sticking up in all directions as his hands fist at his sides. Still, now that Makoto has recognised him, even the furrowed brows and gritted teeth aren’t enough to deter him from going over and saying ‘hi’.

Padding over carefully in an attempt not to twist his ankle on the slippery grass, Makoto weaves between his fellow students (giving a small smiles to those he now recognises) to stand beside where Sousuke is swearing up a storm vengefully under his breath.


Sousuke jerks, obviously startled, before turning to squint blearily at Makoto. His normally unreadable features seem a little more transparent as he struggles to process who it is that he’s seeing.

"Wait a- Tachibana?" He scrubs at his eyes and glances back up as though to check he hasn’t just dreamed Makoto up. After fairly serious and driven individual he’s seen glimpses of through middle and high school, Makoto can’t help butt find Sousuke’s bewilderment endearing. "Rin mentioned you were studying in Tokyo, but I didn’t realise you were here.”

Makoto grins. “It’s a small world, I guess. Or, um, dorm in this case.” He eyes the way Sousuke’s fingers have started to pluck restlessly at the hen puff his thin cotton shirt, the way he shifts from foot to foot in an unconcious attempt to stay warm. “I didn’t see you earlier, when the first alarm went off a couple puff hours ago.”

Sousuke shrugs, shuffles on the spot for a moment. He almost looks guilty though Makoto can’t imagine why - university dorms hardly have curfews that need to be adhered to, after all.

"I. Might have slept through it."

Sousuke!" Makoto is so aghast that he doesn’t even realise he’s slipped and called him by his first name. He’s too busy feeling completely horrified. "What if it had been for a real fire?"

Sousuke’s nose scrunches and he runs a hand through his bedhead sheepishly. “It wasn’t something I had control over - had to take some painkillers before I went to bed. Besides,” he continues as he watches the two of their block’s RAs stumble out of the building in their high-viz vests, “they usually evacuate the building - I think they’d figured out it was a prank by the time they got to my floor.”

Makoto still can’t help but feel concerned, but lets the subject drop. Instead he focuses on the slight tremor that seems to be travelling down Sousuke’s spine every few moment as small but surprisingly icy gusts of wind raise goosebumps on his arms. 

It’s only instinct when he carefully unwraps part of his soft blanket from around him to offer a side gingerly to Sousuke. As broad as they both are it’ll be a slightly snug fit, but Makoto’s not about to let the poor guy freeze.

Sousuke looks a little dubious as he takes the offered corner of the blanket and holds it between a finger and his thumb, holding it in the air but making no other move.

Eventually Makoto huffs in exasperation, gently prying Sousuke’s (cold!) fingers apart to take it back before draping it over Sousuke’s shoulders. “Honestly, do you want to catch a cold?” His voice is almost absent as he arranges the blanket to cover as much as the two of them as possible. Sousuke’s arm, now pressed up against his own, sends a slight shiver down his spine at the stark temperature difference.

Sousuke’s raising his brows at him now, probably at how forward that had been. Makoto doesn’t deign to acknowledge the look, though his cheeks are dusted a light pink from the contact. Instead, he tiptoes slightly to see over the small crowd of students to look towards the dorm again but so far no sign of the high visibility jackets that the fire marshals have to wear.

Sousuke has managed, by this time, to relax enough to make small talk; they swap stories of what their first week had been like, of how brutal (or kind) their schedules have been so far, of the best place to stock up on that one brand of cake that no one know about that had been commonplace in the shops in Iwatobi. Sousuke grumbles about the group he’s been put into for his first project and Makoto laments about his struggles to find a part time job. Truth be told, Makoto’s actually a little surprised by how easy it is to talk to him.

They’ve been outside, shivering, for almost 45 minutes before there’s the fire marshals troop out looking irritable and exhausted by turns.

"Another prank," one of them grunts with a scowl, "no fire. Didn’t manage to catch them." She goes over to one of the security guards, whispering to them for a moment, before turning back and reporting that they were free to go back inside.

A quick check on his phone tells him it’s now almost 6am.

Sousuke, peering over his shoulder to take a look, groans. “I have a lecture in two hours, is there even a point in me going back to bed?” 

Makoto sighs. “Possibly not. I have a tutorial in three and have a feeling I’ll miss it if I go back to sleep…”

They start to shuffle back towards the dorms, and almost end up face first on the floor when they attempt to split and walk around someone without remembering that they’re both wrapped in a blanket burrito

Sousuke, luckily, gets his balance back fairly quickly, and manages to steady Makoto before he can go careering into the innocent bystander. Sousuke just chuckles wryly and hands back his side of the blanket - they’re almost indoors now anyway.

Makoto’s just about to bid Sousuke farewell and head down the corridor to the right when he feels a hand on his elbow. Makoto turns, his eyes a touch wide but a small smile on his face. 


He tilts his head to a side, surveying Makoto for a moment in silence. Then he seems to come to a decision, resolve shining through his gaze.

"If you’re planning on staying up anyway, you can come up to my kitchen and we can have coffee? And maybe breakfast too, actually." Whatever Makoto had been expecting, it hadn’t been that. Sousuke seemed to take his surprised pause as hesitation; he carried on to say, "I’ll even throw in breakfast, I’m told my scrambled eggs are something to be proud of."

Not even an hour later, they’re forced to evacuate a third time as the fire alarm goes off again.

At least this time as the fire marshals empty the building and the RAs (along with a few livid students) chase the guilty person across campus, they’re out there with steaming mugs in hand as they argue  about the best manga to come out of Jump.

Their debate is left unresolved by the time they’re finally allowed back into the building and they part ways so that they can get ready, but not before arranging to meet up at the campus cafe in a shared free period the next day to settle it once and for all.

Makoto can’t wait.